/ / Railway tunnel of Frejus: photo description (Traforo ferroviario del Frejus)

Railway tunnel of Frejus: photo description (Traforo ferroviario del Frejus)

Railway tunnel of Frejus, also known as the tunnel of Mont-Cheney, stretches 13.7 km in the European Alps, to connect the city of Bardonecchia in Italy to modane in France. By means of this tunnel the train going on the route Torino - modane, overcomes the massif of Mont Cheney. Passes passes beneath the Pointe du Fréjus (2932 m) and the Col de Fréjus (2542 m).

The original tunnel had a length of 12.8 km - it was almost twice the longest at the time of the tunnel. Its construction began in August 1857, the year in Bardonecchia and in December of the same - in Modane. At the beginning of the construction of both endpoints of the tunnel located on the territory of the Kingdom of Sardinia, but in 1860 year, the Turin contract Modan (then Savoy) were transferred to France. In December 1870, French and Italian workers drilled a path towards each other and met in the middle of the future tunnel and formally shook hands, marking the completion of drilling operations. Less than a year later the tunnel was started the first part of Frejus is considered the oldest of the large tunnels in the Alps. Ten years later, the tunnel was extended to its present size (13.7 km), and on the French side was equipped with a fortified entrance. Another extension of the tunnel was executed in 2010-m to year.

The construction of the Frejus tunnel under the guidance of Germaine Sommai was calculated for 25 years, but was completed within 14 years through the use of innovative for that time techniques, for example, a jackhammer and electrosurgery explosive charges. At the final stage used the newly invented dynamite, which significantly accelerated the progress of work. The other two of the Alpine tunnel, the Gotthard and Simplesi - built using the same technology.

Interestingly, at the time, the Frejus tunnel was considered possible by the invasion of Italian troops on the territory of France, since it allows to overcome the pass of Mont Cheney without any problems. In this regard, around Modan was built a number of fortified structures. For example, at the end of the 19th century built Fort Replate and Fort du Sapey. The checkpoint along the railroad tracks to the East of the current entrance to the tunnel became a tourist attraction. This leaning house was built in 1939 year over the ammunition depot to care for the entrance to the tunnel. In 1944, the Germans blew up two cars in the tunnel, causing the ammunition dump blew up, ripping off the checkpoint with the Foundation.

The Frejus tunnel remains an important transport artery connecting Rome and Paris, via Turin and chambéry. In the future we plan to turn it into a high-speed railway tunnel that will be part of the project the high speed railway Turin - Lyon.